$21,795 - $29,870

2016 Mazda CX-5 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Mazda CX-5 was new.


Interior: 7.5

Reviewers think the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has a practical and attractive cabin and features high-end materials including soft-touch surfaces and available leather upholstery. Some test drivers think the front seats are comfortable, but others would prefer more cushioning. There's good room for a couple of adults in the rear row, they add. Test drivers are pleased with the Mazda CX-5's infotainment system, noting that it's responsive, easy to use and has a clear display. The center stack controls are also straightforward, auto writers say. Cargo space is good for the class.

  • "Regardless of the trim level, the cabin of the Mazda CX-5 is attractive, modern and functional." -- Edmunds
  • "With a new center console and dash, and the addition of the Mazda Connect infotainment system, the '16 CX-5 feels like a new vehicle from behind the wheel. An attractive, pliant, leatherish material swaths the neat console and surrounding real estate. And the perforated leather seats feel damn near upscale." -- Autoblog
  • "The cabin features nice materials, including a soft-touch dashboard and upper door trim surfaces and convincing metal-look accents." -- Cars.com (2014)


The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has seats for five and comes with cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats. Premium cloth or leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. Some test drivers think the CX-5's front seats are comfortable and roomy, others find them to be too stiff for long trips. Test drivers agree that the CX-5's rear seats have a good amount of space for a couple of adults.

  • The 2016 CX-5 holds five passengers, but like other compact SUVs, the rear bench gets cramped with three adults. There's good headroom and legroom in the front and rear seats, which are covered in cloth in Sport and Touring trims, or leather in top-line Grand Touring models. The front seats are on the thinner side, and the adjustable lumbar support on Touring and Grand Touring models may not be enough if you require extra support." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Most drivers should be able to find a good driving position, and front-seat comfort is excellent on long road trips." -- Edmunds
  • "After a week of driving both, including one 3-hour highway drive in the Grand Touring, the front seats were the only comfort gripe we developed. Overly hard with pronounced seatback seams, they left our hindquarters numb and shoulder blades rubbed raw. If we owned this vehicle, we'd have to invest in a good set of comfortable seat covers." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The front bucket seats are comfortable and have enough bolstering for aggressive driving. The backseat readily accommodates adults, and the backrest folds flat with the cargo floor when more utility is needed." -- Cars.com (2014)

Interior Features

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 comes equipped with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, push-button start, a four-speaker stereo with voice commands, an auxiliary input jack and a USB port. All 2016.5 models with an automatic transmission come with a rearview camera. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, a Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, satellite radio, navigation, a power moonroof, a rearview camera, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic braking with forward collision warning.

Test drivers are pleased with the 2016 CX-5's upgraded infotainment system, which has a bigger screen than the system in outgoing models. Some say the system has sharp graphics and quickly responds to user inputs. Test drivers think the center stack controls are also straightforward. Some critics complain that the sound quality from both the standard and upgraded stereos isn't particularly good.

See 2016 Mazda CX-5 specs »

  • "I think that Mazda Connect's version of the central control knob (with handy adjacent volume knob) is almost luddite-proof in its simplicity. There's no latency between twisting and reaction on the screen. Better still, menus use clean graphics and offer fast loading times from one to the next. The touchscreen works well, which I appreciate as an advocate for this technology." -- Autoblog
  • "In addition, the Mazda CX-5's sound systems are subpar. Even the uplevel Bose system delivers unimpressive audio quality." -- Edmunds
  • "The new central control layout is easy to use, and the rotary dials have a premium look and feel." -- Kelley Blue Book


Behind its back seats, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has 34.1 cubic feet of cargo space and 64.8 cubic feet with those seats folded. While that's a competitive amount of cargo space for the class, rivals like the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 have more than 70 cubic feet of overall cargo room. A few automotive journalists point out that the rear seats can be easily folded by pulling a lever, creating a nearly flat load floor. They add that there are a good amount of small-item storage spaces in the cabin. Some test drivers also like the easy-to-use cargo privacy screen and convenient middle pass-through for storing longer items.

  • "The rear seats fold with the simple pull of a lever to expand cargo space to roughly 65 cubic feet, and helpful nooks and crannies abound up front." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In the rear, the hatch has a couple of functional Easter eggs that are likely to make a positive difference in daily use. I like the way the privacy screen can be attached to the rear gate and lift with it as the gate opens, allowing excellent access to the hatch without having to remove and/or stow the privacy screen. The second row of seats is offered in two folding configurations: the 60/40 split (standard on the Sport) and the 40/20/40 split (standard on the Grand Touring). Of the two, the 40/20/40 split offers an ingeniously functional middle pass-through that allows for the storage of long items such as skis or studs while maintaining the use of both 2-row seats." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • Interior small-item storage is about average with a covered two-level bin under the center arm rest, a nice-size cubby in front of the shifter, two console-mounted cupholders, and a drop-down glovebox. Bottle holders and small bins in the doors provide a bit more storage, as do the small trays behind the door pulls." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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